"The virtuosic vocal finesse of Diana Alvarez is a wonder and a privilege to behold--and no surprise to witness every audience stunned into silent awe and transcendence."
"Soulful and natural."
"Diana’s voice, her ability to shift the room by allowing her research to inform her choices of sound, song selection, and phrasing is simply remarkable. For me personally, even on YouTube - her Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera trailer recalibrates my mood. This is true of so many of the women of color artists before her, like Bessie Smith for example – who was said to have been able to conjure with her voice."
"Diana Alvarez writes the truth through a tincture of magic and prayer, and both the spirits and the living are cupping their ears to listen."
With her voice and guitar, Diana Alvarez creates an atmosphere where you can hear a "pin drop." Alvarez's music sets are bilingual and soulful, and her original songs exalt queer love, liberation, and fiercely sing out against oppression.
Dr. Alvarez is the singer-songwriter, poet, composer, and documentary filmmaker behind the multimedia performance, Quiero Volver: A Xicanx Ritual Opera, described by the press as "a visually and acoustically stunning performance meant to honor women, non-binary and genderqueer people of color." Quiero Volver was produced by Smith College at the Academy of Music Theatre (Northampton, Massachusetts) in 2018. At the Academy of Music, the performance event raised over $10,000 to support immigrant justice initiatives through the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Alvarez's music is fueled by her simultaneous work as an award-winning poet and documentary filmmaker. In addition to her poetry-script for Quiero Volver, Alvarez is the author of Consultations with Bruja Juana, a chapbook poetry collection published by Toadlily Press in 2009, and her poems also appear in The Best of Toadlily Press (2011).
In 2018, Alvarez was commissioned to create a documentary for the world premiere of Sharon Bridgforth’s performance installation, dat Black Mermaid Man Lady at allgo, a statewide queer people of color organization in Austin, Texas. In addition to her documentary commissions for Bridgforth, Alvarez has directed her own music videos, as well as a music video for internationally recognized singer-songwriter and jazz musician, Pamela Means.
Alvarez is Xicana from South Texas, and is the first in her family to graduate from college. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. In 2018, Diana earned her PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she studied with groundbreaking composer Pauline Oliveros. Dr. Alvarez's dissertation research is titled, Bridge Artistx: Gatherings of Women, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer Artists of Color.
Diana Alvarez is the recipient of the 2008 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize from the Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown, MA) and the Malcolm S. Morse Graduate Research Enhancement Award in Honor of Pauline Oliveros from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). Alvarez has also been an artist-in-residence at Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada.
In 2019, Diana Alvarez is recording her debut EP, "Ser Artista." She teaches music and writing in Western Massachusetts.